Flutter is a $20 Arduino compatible wireless transceiver, designed to enable electronic enthusiasts to take their designs further and build projects that communicate across their homes and beyond.
Seeking funding on Kickstarter and still under development, Flutter boards communicate with each other without the necessity for a router or server, and have a range of over half a mile. All you need to get started is two Flutter boards, a power supply and a creative mind!
“You love finding innovative ways to take on everyday tasks, whether it’s dimming your lights with your smartphone, getting text notifications when the doorbell rings or the mail arrives, or even building your own quadcopter. Whatever the task at hand you can rely on Flutter to be versatile and robust enough to take on the challenge:”
Based on Arduino, the Flutter will have a powerful Atmel SAM3s ARM processor, plus built-in cryptographic hardware and cryptography software to keep your network secure. You create the Flutter network using Arduino code or by using the specially designed mobile app that will accompany the project.
If the funding goal is reached, there will be two boards on offer, the Flutter Basic and the Flutter Pro. The Basic Flutter features low-profile integrated antenna, micro USB for power and programming, an LED, a button and numerous digital and analog I/O. The Pro has all this as well as battery charging, screw mount antenna, an extra button, plus more memory.
Along with each Flutter board received, will be a Breakout board and socket headers. Also available, depending on how much money you pledge, is a RC shield featuring a buzzer, DC jack, FET’s for switching things on, plugs for R/C servos, plus a temperature sensor, the RC shield is great for radio controlled projects.
You can also pledge more if you want to opt in for a Network shield or a Bluetooth shield, the latter giving you the advantage of being able to connect your phone to Flutter no matter where you are. The Network shield gives you the option of having a permanent base station for Flutter at your home or office.
The campaign details give you many examples of what you could do with the Flutter, such as, you could wirelessly collate data from your surrounding environment by connecting simple sensors to your board or, make use of the powerful CPU and long-range radio and use it as a platform for your dream quadcopter.
At the moment the radio band is limited so the Flutter can only operate within North America but the board is capable of supporting other bands around the world, so European and other region versions could be made. However, without serious over-funding no commitment will be made to do this. They also need FCC certification, as it is a radio product, before they can release it as a commercial product.
The Flutter has opened up endless possibilities for those who love tinkering with electronics, and all hardware and software is open-source giving scope to the community to build-upon the platform, although if you don’t live in the States you may have to wait a while to get your hands on one.
Lets hope they smash their target, get the permissions they need to start manufacturing worldwide and cope with the inevitable demand we think these boards will command. For now we will keep pushing our nRF24L01 and XBee to the limit!